Personal, Professional Guidance

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Donald Frank retired from his position as a Towson University professor in order to care for his dying wife. Three years later, he found himself widowed and overwhelmed with maintaining his house in Baltimore and his winter rental property in Barbados, all while grocery shopping and keeping healthcare appointments.

Mr. Frank began to consider a move to simplify his life. The decision-making process was made considerably easier by his son, Jason Frank, an elder law attorney with Frank, Frank & Scherr, LLC. In reviewing all of his options, it quickly became clear that there were enough funds to pay the entrance deposit to Broadmead, a continuing care retirement community, out of the proceeds from the sale of his house. Monthly fees could be paid using his income from Social Security, state pension, and investments. Moving to a retirement community eliminates the risk of ultimately becoming reliant on public benefits or the threat that a lifetime of savings will be depleted as a result of needing long-term care.

Before singing a contract, the two made several visits and discovered a vibrant, active, thinking community of often like minded people-several of whom Mr. Frank was already acquainted with. Once he made a deposit, he put his house on the market and flew to Barbados. The house sold quickly, and Mr. Frank used the help of a professional moving coordinator to reduce the contents of his three bedroom townhouse to something manageable for a large one bedroom cottage. When he returned to Baltimore in the spring, the only looming decision was where to place his photographs.

The much-loved Professor found himself very much at home, with good friends at Broadmead and his family close at hand. For several years, he went back and forth to Barbados, traveled extensively with his family and was active at the community-including a nearly starring role as the tap dancing pirate in a production of the “Pirates of Penzance.”

With the help of his son’s professional expertise and some well drafted documents-including a durable power of attorney for finance and medical advance directives-Mr. Frank ensured that as his faculties declined, his bills were paid, his income was fully received and accounted for, and medical decisions were made as he had wished them to be made. Over time, those documents proved their worth many times over. After 4 years in independent living, the last with an aide, the Professor moved into the assisted living unit, at no additional monthly fee. A year later, a hospitalization resulted in what became a permanent nursing home placement, at no additional fee. His room was his own and the staff was competent and caring. Ultimately, the progression of dementia and cancer and his participation in the community’s care and comfort program brought the Professor to a peaceful and dignified death, having spent the final years of his life close to his family and among good friends.

Posted in: Elder Law, Money & Legal

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